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GAEC Denies Kyle Maynard MMA License

The Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission voted unanimously 4-0 to deny Kyle Maynard an amateur MMA license earlier today.

For those of you who aren’t familar with Maynard, he was born with congential amputation, a condition that leaves one with deformed hands, arms, legs, and feet.

“We were in there for about an hour,” said David Oblas, owner of Undisputed Productions and co-promoter of the fight card on which Maynard planned to participate. “We showed them the affidavits from his trainers and video of him sparring. Then they talked privately amongst themselves.”

Maynard won the 2004 ESPY Best Athlete with a Disability Award. He also won more than 100 wrestling matches at Collins Hill High School in Suwanee, GA during his high school career.

Maynard currently trains out of the Hardcore Gym in Athens, GA, the same gym that produced Forrest Griffin and Rory Singer.

Penn Pleads No Contest on Assault Charges

Former UFC Welterweight Champion BJ Penn pleaded no contest on charges that he allegedly assaulted a police officer outside a Hawaii nightclub in 2005.

KITV 4 News out of Honolulu reported that a police officer claimed he was punched in the face by Penn during an altercation outside of the club two years ago. The station also reported that Penn was originally charged with felony assault but is now only being charged with a third degree misdemeanor.

Penn will be sentenced in December. His lawyer has stated that he does not believe Penn will be required to serve any time in jail.

MMA Segment Re-Aired on 60 Minutes

60 Minutes re-aired the segment on MMA titled: Mixed Martial Arts: A New Kind Of Fight from December 10, 2006.

Walk into any neighborhood and if they’re playing football on one corner, basketball on the next, baseball on the third and a fight breaks out on the fourth, everybody’s going to run and watch the fight. Hand-to-hand combat is strangely irresistible.

These days the national street corner is on TV, where millions are now being drawn to a new kind of fight called “mixed martial arts” or MMA. Not long ago the sport was banned as too vicious for decent society. But mixed martial arts came back swinging. In April, a fight on the Spike cable channel was watched by more young men than the NBA playoff game broadcast at the same time.

Video is available on the page with the article.

Hat tip to MMA Hearsay for the reminder.

Sherk, Franca Test Positive for Steroids

UFC Lightweight Champion Sean Sherk and his challenger at UFC 73, Hermes Franca have both tested positive for anabolic steroids according to the California State Athletic Commission.

Both Sherk and Franca have been fined $2500 and suspended for one full year. No word yet on whether or not Sherk will stripped of his title by the UFC.

They will have 30 days to send an appeal to the CSAC after which a hearing on the matter will take place if they choose to do so.

Greg Nelson, Sherk’s trainer at the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy believes that the positive test is a complete mistake:

“I’m fairly convinced that there’s absolutely been a total mistake here,” said Greg Nelson, Sherk’s trainer. “I have absolutely no recollection of anything of that nature. I know his training and how dedicated he is to eating and doing everything as pure and clean as possible.”

Hermes Franca released a statement earlier today to MMA Weekly stating that a report would be released later today that he tested positive for a banned substance that he willingly took the steroids in order to help heal an injured ankle before the fight.

We will have much more on this story as it develops…

Update 5:23 PM: Some more details on what’s going on…

We originally reported that both Sherk and Franca both tested positive for nandrolone metabolite. That doesn’t seem to be the case. Sherk tested positive for nandrolone while Franca was found to have drostanolone in his system.

Sherk’s suspension will last the length of his current license with the CSAC - 355 days. An additional suspension of 10 days will be added on if Sherk decides to apply for a new CSAC license.

Franca’s suspension will last for the remainder of his current license with the CSAC - 363 days. The CSAC did not state whether or not Franca will have to endure an additional suspension if he chooses to apply for a new license next year.

UFC President Dana White released this statement regarding the matter:

“Our policy on fighters using steroids, illegal drugs or any banned substance remains the same - you cannot use them,” said UFC President Dana White. “It’s not only unhealthy and unsafe, it is against the law. The UFC fully supports the commission’s efforts and we will continue to take measures that keep this sport clean and keep the athletes safe.”

Kimbo-Tank Set for October 12

Cage Fury Fighting Championships matchmaker Gary Marino has announced that UFC veteran Tank Abbott and the infamous Kimbo Slice will collide at CFFC 6: Heavy Hands on October 12 at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, NJ.

Abbott most recently fought at Cage Rage 21 in April, being stopped by Gary Turner in the first round due to strikes. Abbott has lost 7 or his last 8 fights. His last victory was a knockout win over Wesley Correira at Rumble on the Rock 7 in 2005.

Slice garnered his first professional MMA victory when he submitted former boxing champion Ray Mercer with a guillotine choke at CFFC 5 last month. After the fight, Abbott called out Slice and asked him to throw down in the parking lot, which led to mayhem once Abbott tried to scale the cage in order to get his hands on Slice.

Shooto Releases Card for Back to Our Roots 5

Shooto has announced seven scheduled bouts for their Back to Our Roots 5 event that will take place on September 22nd at Korakuen Hall in Japan.

Along with the announced fights, Shooto has also stated that Rumina Sato will participate in the event as well. Sato currently does not have an opponent.

Class A Bantamweight: Mamoru vs Yasuhiro Urushitani
Class A Featherweight: Kenji Osawa vs Daniel Lima
Class A Bantamweight: Setsu Iguchi vs Jin Akimoto
Class B Flyweight: Atsushi Takechi vs Shinya Murofushi
Class B Lightweight: Eiji Murayama vs Sakae Kasuya
Class B Featherweight: Hiromasa Ougikubo vs Kazuya Tamura
Class B Middleweight: Akihiro Yamazaki vs Daisuke Okumiya

K-1 Adds Tamura-Kin to Hero’s 9 Card

FEG president Sadaharu Tanigawa has announced that a bout between Kiyoshi Tamura and Taiei Kin has been added to the July 16th K-1 Hero’s 9 card.

This announcement confirms the news that Kiyoshi Tamura is no longer under contract with PRIDE and has officially signed with K-1.

Tanigawa also stated that more bouts would be added to the card and that Melvin Manhoef would be participating in one of them.

The updated K-1 Hero’s 9 card now looks like this:

Caol Uno vs. Katsuhiko Nagata
Kazuyuki Miyata vs. Vitor Ribeiro
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Taiei Kin
Hideo Tokoro vs. Kultar Gill
Gesias Calvancanti vs. Andre Dida
Alexandre Franca Nogueira vs. Shuichiro Katsumura
Katsuyori Shibata vs. Ralek Gracie
Dong Sik Yoon vs. Bernard Ackah
Melvin Manhoef vs. TBA

Brazilian Team MMA Debuts August 11

The MO Team League in Brazil, a team-based MMA league very similar to the IFL here in the United States, announced the head coaches and rosters for it’s first four teams as well as the fight card for it’s debut event on September 29 last Saturday according to MMA Weekly.

The head coaches and teams are as follows:

Hurricane - Head Coach: Wanderlei Silva

Lightweight - Jean Silva
Welterweight - Flávio Álvaro
Middleweight - Rafael Sapo
Light Heavyweight - Rafael Monteiro
Heavyweight - André Mussi

Wild Fire - Head Coach: Murilo Bustamante

Lightweight - Luciano Azevedo
Welterweight - Gerson Conceição
Middleweight - Silmar Rodrigo
Light Heavyweight - Alexandre Cacareco
Heavyweight - Joaquim Mamute

Tsunami - Head Coach: Pedro Rizzo

Lightweight - Leonardo Santos
Welterweight - André Chatuba
Middleweight - Mauricio Alonso
Light Heavyweight - Jair Sorriso
Heavyweight - Walter Broca

Avalanche - Head Coach: Antonio Rogério Nogueira

Lightweight - Rafael Mantega
Welterweight - Sergio Moraes
Middleweight - Julio Cesar Field Almeida
Light Heavyweight - Erick Wanderlei
Heavyweight - Fábio Maldonado

The league will use the five main weight divisions similar to the IFL. The inaugural event for the league will place on August 11th when Silva’s Hurricane face off against Bustamante’s Wild Fire. The second event will be held on September 29 where Nogueira’s Avalanche will take on Rizzo’s Tsunami.

Sun Announces New Division - Underground Cage Fighting

DALLAS, TX—(MARKET WIRE) – July 9th 2007 – SUN Sports & Entertainment Inc., (Pink Sheets: SSPE) announced today that the Company is launching a new division called “UNDERGROUND Cage Fighting ™” designed for Casinos, Arenas and regional markets interested in showcasing this new sport and the new breed of fighters across in the Country.
The UNDERGROUND Events are produced exclusively by SUN and offer a full turnkey Mobile Production that starts at $100,000 (based on fight card). The specialized model could allow SUN the ability to produce up to one Event per week on a national basis across America. The Company has received dozen’s of inquires for its UNDERGROUND Events and has already signed two contracts to produce an Event in August 2007 and another Event in November 2007.
SUN President J. Buckeye Epstein, stated, “Our UNDERGROUND brand is completely different than our ‘Art of War’ Series that is created for large arenas and world-wide audiences. The UNDERGROUND program is a raw more aggressive program specifically created to allow the venue owners the opportunity to offer Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Sport in small regional markets. The growth of MMA and the demand for more of this type of live entertainment should prove to be a very successful financial model for SUN.” Epstein added, “We feel there is a huge market opportunity in the 1000 - 5000 seat venues to bring a professional show to their facility and have subsequently created a very unique marketing and production plan specifically for this.” 
The Company will unveil its first multi city tour in a series of Events in Texas as early as September 2007 and will begin producing a national program thereafter. Epstein says ‘This program will allow the new generation of young fighters to build a track record and get exposure before they are considered to be associated with the Men’s National MMA Team. It’s our plan promote many of these UNDERGROUND events which provides the estimated 300 million fans (source: Guy Adams a Reporter with Independent News & Media) around the globe a chance to witness live or on Pay Per View the energy of what happens when two skilled athletes mixed martial arts are placed in a 24 foot steel cage!

K-1 World Grand Prix 2007 Hits Las Vegas on August 11

Hard-hitting demolition man and two-time K-1 tournament champion, “Mighty Mo” Siligia, will face off with 2006 K-1 North America tournament victor, Chalid “Die Faust” Arrab, in a Superfight battle during K-1’s return to Las Vegas, Nevada’s Bellagio on Saturday, August 11th.

In addition to the pair of Superfights, the event will feature K-1’s customary eight-man, single-elimination tournament in which fighters from all over the globe will vie for a place in competition in Japan later this year.

The 33-year-old Siligia is coming off his second career K-1 tournament conquest, April 28th’s eight-man, single-elimination playoff in Hawaii, where he stopped all three of his opponents. The 6 foot 1 inch, 280 plus pound Samoan-born brawler, who resides in California, reeled off six consecutive victories in 2007 before suffering his only defeat of the year, a three-round judges’ decision defeat at the hands of 7 foot giant, Semmy Schilt, in Amsterdam last weekend.

Midway through his debut season with K-1 in 2004, Siligia established his presence in Las Vegas by defeating three straight opponents, including championship round adversary, Brecht Walis, whom he stopped in two rounds to emerge North America champion on August 7th of that year. The win in Sin City earned Siligia a place on a K-1 card in Tokyo, Japan where he overpowered and scored a first round knockout on another notorious puncher, “Big Daddy” Gary Goodridge.

Siligia’s power will be challenged by the sound kickboxing skills of the 31-year-old Arrab, a native of Germany and member of famed, Holland-based martial arts fight team, Golden Glory.

Arrab earned his first K-1 tournament title on April 29th of last year after scoring a first round knockout on quarterfinal round opponent, Sean O’ Haire, and a thrilling, third round knockout on championship round adversary, Goodridge. Arrab, whose nickname “Die Faust” is German for “The Fist,” had been originally eliminated from contention in the event’s semifinal round after he gave up a close-cut decision to former K-1 champion, Carter Williams. Williams, however, declared that a leg injury he had sustained in the fight with Arrab would prevent him from being able to take advantage of his championship round berth. The rules of K-1 mandated that Arrab take his place in the final round of action, thus giving Arrab a second wind.

Bellagio Ballroom doors will open for “K-1 World Grand Prix 2007 in Las Vegas” at 5 PM Pacific Standard Time on Saturday, August 11th and the card’s first preliminary bout will begin at 5:30 PM. The eight-man tournament will commence at 7 PM.

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